We all dream about it; few of us really do it

Last summer Doug Moody and Wendy Bette had a garage sale. They divested themselves of all the extra stuff sitting in their basement and their garage. Especially the cross country skis.

Along with the glassware and ‘treasures’ went tools, camping equipment, extra hoses, some plumbing stuff… you know, all the stuff that we accumulate just because we have basements and garages.

And since last summer Doug and Wendy have slowly been passing along their possessions. They sold their ravine lot home and rented it from the new owners until last month. They’ve sold their furniture, given away their business clothes, and pared down to life’s most basic necessities.

And they’ve done it all deliberately.

Doug and Wendy are getting ready to do what most of us only dream about. With his four sons grown and living on their own, Doug has built a very customized financial service, helping businesses grow through equipment financing, mortgage renewal, creative ways to solve financial problems and find growth and investment money.Last summer Doug and Wendy went to the U.S. and came home with their ‘new’ home, a 42-foot sailing vessel, the ocean going Catalina. They’ve called it L’attitude and it’s a fitting tribute to their plans. For the next several years, Doug and Wendy will be hitting southern latitudes as they change
their lives.

In two weeks, they’ll head out of the Barrie marina and sail over to Beaverton. The mast will come down and forty locks later, they’ll leave the Trent Severn and hit Lake Ontario. They’ll enter the New York State Canal System and 40 locks later will sail out of New York City’s harbour, into the Atlantic Ocean.

This isn’t an instant experience… it’ll take weeks before they reach their ultimate destination for this winter–the British Virgin Islands. They want to participate in the Caribbean 1500 out of Norfolk Virginia. Equipped with new bartending diplomas and scuba diving certifications, they plan to pick up the odd job, and enjoy the world.

Venezuela, Belize, the West Indies, Cuba, take the map and dream… that’s what Doug and Wendy are doing. With onboard gps and assistive technology, Doug and Wendy have built uncluttered existences where they gather very little along the way. Are they excited? Yes. Are they nervous? Yes. They’re heading into unknown territories where culture and civil law span land but not sea.

They have a plan plotted of countries and latitudes and will spend part of next winter near the equator. Eventually they’ll head to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal.

We sat at Casa Mia Restaurant on Thursday, musing about our shared pasts. Doug has assisted many of my small business clients in their start up and growth initiatives. Sinced 1995 he’s been a key speaker at the beginning of each of my courses. He brings the message of entrepreneurial venture and he has made his living helping dreams happen.

As a mortgage broker Wendy shares similar experiences to Doug’s. She has helped people find mortgage money, consolidate debt, be able to move into homes that were only a dream before she met her clients.

We talked about their community involvement, their memberships in BNI (Business Network International), their mentorship of many, many business people.

The legacy that Doug and Wendy leave runs deep into the commerce cores of our community; it’s difficult to imagine Barrie without them. They plan to keep in touch with a regular email blast. They intend to stay on their boat, to enjoy their families when they come to visit. They intend to live their dream, day by day, needing very little.

The preparation for such a venture takes months and months. Wendy is excited to have found a hand operated mini washing machine (on e-bay) that will enable them to stay on top of laundry without having to dock and use commercial machines. They want to moor at out-of-the-way locations, not popular tourist haunts. They’ve bought kayaks to enable them to see in greater detail the magic of new vistas.

This is, indeed, a voyage of personal exploration for a couple whose roots in Barrie run deep. I feel like standing on the government dock at the foot of Bayfield, a Canadian flag in my hand as they pull off. But I expect it’ll be done quietly, as they slip from this world to their next adventure.

And so, Doug and Wendy, this is a celebration of your personal courage.

It’s a thank you for hundreds and hundreds of people whose lives have been helped by your energy. It’s an honouring of your commitment to living fully.

Doug… thanks for the skis. It’s fitting that I’ll be taking them north for winter cottage weekends. And it’s fitting because we met on a ski slope at a BNI function. It’s amazing, really, the connections that occur and where they go.

Didn’t Dr. Seuss write about that?

Thanks, Wendy. Thanks, Doug.